Where do our GPS cranes spend the winter?
The winter of 2022/2023 has been extraordinarily mild so far, apart from the onset of winter in mid-December. Although this caused many cranes to flee from the harsh weather conditions, there are still cranes at numerous resting and wintering areas in Germany. For example, our colleague Steffen Goldberg recently counted 429 individuals at the retention basis in Straußfurt (Thuringia). The number of wintering cranes at this area is similar to last year.
And where do our GPS cranes spend their winter?
Papillon likes to spend the wintertime in Germany. Like last year, he stays in the Müritz region.
All the other cranes that had been fitted with GPS transmitters the past years have moved south. Orpheus is currently staying between Arjuzanx and Bordeaux near several larger lakes.
Baltico, Lettlandi and Wölkchen as well as Anne and Kenneth moved to the main wintering area of the Common Crane on the western European flyway: to the region of Extremadura. Since it is crane Annes first winter we hope that she will find good conditions there and will return to Germany safe and sound in March. Especially the maize and rice fields of the region as well as the acorns in the cork and holm oak forests are important for the wintering of the cranes.
Paco (2021, see photo) also relies on a proven area: He is currently discovering the north-east of Spain. Whereas he wintered at the Laguna of Gallocanta last year, he roams near the town of Ejea de los Caballeros, north of Zaragoza, this year.